From the sometimes (check that - always) demented mind of Jef with One F, Rocks Off blogger and co-lead vocalist of "Houston's most notorious band" Black Math Experiment, comes The Bible Spelled Backwards Does Not Change The Fact That You Cannot Kill David Arquette - a book at once musical memoir, ode to a (insert letter, probably close to C)-list celebrity and passionate call for originality in the all-too-often unoriginal world of art in which he lives.
It is a book wholly devoted to defining the enigmatic scene that is Houston music, particularly the scene frequently overlooked by local critics as well as local musicians -the scene around which music and melodramatic make-believe get married. Black Math Experiment is a band cut from the cloth that gives Houston its singular pathos - a cloth that, while full of holes and wrought with a terror of the hierarchy, drips joy to the core of those who will just listen.
The book is written in a first-person, hyper-conversational tone; making it feel like Jef is familiar, even friendly, with every single person who will ever read it (and who are we to speculate that he's not - dude knows everybody). As The Bible Spelled Backwards cleverly makes evident (such as the incredibly nuanced directions on how to make a toilet paper cannon - no, seriously), Black Math Experiment carry an indefinable weirdness that transcends co-optation; an artfulness that assumes no pretense and is quite literally impossible to appropriate.
Houston misses them more than they probably know, and it is fair to say that we will never see another band quite like them. The Bible Spelled Backwards will tickle you to your DIY core, and maybe just maybe start a band for yourself; or at the very least inspire you to watch more wrestling.
And so for the first time in the recorded history of this blog, one Rocks Offer thus interviewed another.
Rocks Off: Your music clearly represents Houston in a way that many local bands don't seem interested in pursuing. In the book, you write about making music that will immediately appeal to a Houstonian's ear, particularly if that Houstonian is making the obligatory 15-30 minute drive anywhere in the city. Can you explain a little what Houston means to you as an artist, and how that meaning finds its way into your music?
Jef With One F: I've always found Houston audiences a little hesitant to immerse themselves in a song or concert. If you want that moment where an audience lets go of real world and instead buys totally into the world you create, then you must approach music and performance with the intent of attacking their expectations from unexpected angles.
RO: Your interest in the theatrical is seen throughout the book, most especially in the parts (and there are tons) about your connection to Rocky Horror Picture Show. With performing art becoming less and less important in the context of popular (and even unpopular) music, what do you think can and should be done to bring it back; and what do you think that would do to our understanding of music?